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Accipiter cirrocephalus

Collared Sparrowhawk at Bega, NSW

Accipiter cirrocephalus at Bega, NSW - 24 Aug 2020
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Identification history

Accipiter cirrocephalus 4 Nov 2021 Liam.m
Accipiter cirrocephalus 1 Nov 2021 Liam.m
Accipiter fasciatus 24 Aug 2020 StephH

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User's notes

On the basis of the face in the photo I would have said that this was a sparrowhawk, but its size made me think goshawk. Couldn't see tail or feet for better ID confirmation.

6 comments

   25 Aug 2020
Certainly it doesn't look particularly beetle-browed, but to me the shape and proportions of the bill, its relative size to the head as a whole, and the degree of 'over-bite' of the upper bill is suggestive of Brown Goshawk. It is fairly bulky, so I'd be thinking female. Does this fit with your recollection of size - a female BG would be noticeably larger than a CS.
   25 Aug 2020
From the CSIRO field guide the less reddish colour of the barring on the breast and the fact that there is no reddish colouration round the side of the neck also looks like female goshawk, not sparrowhawk.
StephH wrote:
   25 Aug 2020
Thanks Harvey and Jackie. The bird was of the annoyingly in between size that made it inconclusive for me, but I think its muscly bulk is a key determinant, and both your comments support the conclusion that it's a goshawk.
   25 Aug 2020
Hi Steph, Harvey and Jackie, I offer this a little hesitantly because it involves me having copied the photo onto my computer and enhanced the contrast while reducing the highlights. I felt there was more information to be gleaned around the beak and indeed it does look as if the blue colouration below the cere extends up in front, which is a distinguishing feature in favour of a sparrowhawk. (Australian bird guide - Menkhorst et al)
   25 Aug 2020
Great shot Steph, I agree with Max that this bird is more likely to be a Collared Sparrowhawk. The rounded head with less pronounced features and no beetle-brow suggest to me that species. And when you say the size suggests Brown Goshawk, a female Collared SH is the same size as a male Brown Goshawk, with female of the latter being much larger again. Pity we can't see the tail, legs and toes which are different for both species.
   25 Aug 2020
Hi Max - I did note that component of the Australian Bird Guide distinguishing features, but don't know how much weight to put on it. It is not mentioned in Stephen Debus's field guides (Birds of Prey of Australia), and it is not explicitly mentioned in the HANZAB texts. At best, the differences identified in HANZAB are : Brown Goshawk - "Bill, grey-black to black with light-grey to light blue-grey base." vs Collared Sparrowhawk - "Bill, grey-black to black with light-grey, pale-grey or light bluish-grey base of varying extent." Given the subjectivity of these descriptions, the "variability" of extent, and the lack of detail in the photo (I didn't do any computer enlargement or manipulation), I don't know how reliable that feature is, particularly in this instance.

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Nearby sightings

Page 1 of 1 - image sightings only 32 0 31

Eudynamys orientalis (Eastern Koel) at Bega, NSW - 2 Nov 2020 by MatthewHiggins Myzomela sanguinolenta (Scarlet Honeyeater) at Bega, NSW - 21 Oct 2020 by Steph H Threskiornis spinicollis (Straw-necked Ibis) at Bega, NSW - 20 Oct 2020 by MatthewHiggins Falco cenchroides (Nankeen Kestrel) at Bega, NSW - 4 Oct 2020 by MatthewHiggins Columba leucomela (White-headed Pigeon) at Bega, NSW - 18 Sep 2020 by Steph H Strepera graculina (Pied Currawong) at Bega, NSW - 8 Aug 2020 by MatthewHiggins Zosterops lateralis (Silvereye) at Bega, NSW - 21 Jul 2020 by MatthewHiggins Opisthoncus nigrofemoratus (Black-thighed jumper) at Bega, NSW - 16 Jul 2020 by Steph H Calyptorhynchus funereus (Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo) at Bega, NSW - 15 Jul 2020 by Steph H Cracticus torquatus (Grey Butcherbird) at Bega, NSW - 13 Jul 2020 by MatthewHiggins Elanus axillaris (Black-shouldered Kite) at Bega, NSW - 10 Jul 2020 by MatthewHiggins Tiliqua scincoides scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) at Bega, NSW - 20 May 2020 by MatthewHiggins Orthodera ministralis (Green Mantid) at Bega, NSW - 11 May 2020 by MatthewHiggins Haliastur sphenurus (Whistling Kite) at Bega, NSW - 6 May 2020 by MatthewHiggins Litoria peronii (Peron's Tree Frog, Emerald Spotted Tree Frog) at Bega, NSW - 5 May 2020 by MatthewHiggins Tiliqua scincoides scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) at Bega, NSW - 5 May 2020 by MatthewHiggins Pseudomantis albofimbriata (False garden mantis) at Bega, NSW - 3 May 2020 by MatthewHiggins Tiliqua scincoides scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) at Bega, NSW - 14 Apr 2020 by MatthewHiggins Columba leucomela (White-headed Pigeon) at Bega, NSW - 9 Apr 2020 by MatthewHiggins Pseudechis porphyriacus (Red-bellied Black Snake) at Bega, NSW - 7 Mar 2020 by MatthewHiggins Ninox boobook (Southern Boobook) at Bega, NSW - 2 Mar 2020 by MatthewHiggins Tiliqua scincoides scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) at Bega, NSW - 3 Dec 2019 by MatthewHiggins Philemon corniculatus (Noisy Friarbird) at Bega, NSW - 26 Sep 2019 by MatthewHiggins Haliaeetus leucogaster (White-bellied Sea-Eagle) at Bega, NSW - 15 Aug 2019 by MatthewHiggins Haliastur sphenurus (Whistling Kite) at Bega, NSW - 1 Jul 2019 by MatthewHiggins Trichonephila edulis (Golden orb weaver) at Bega, NSW - 1 Apr 2019 by MatthewHiggins Cacatua sanguinea (Little Corella) at Bega, NSW - 31 Jan 2019 by MatthewHiggins Tiliqua scincoides scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) at Bega, NSW - 31 Dec 2018 by MatthewHiggins Falco cenchroides (Nankeen Kestrel) at Bega, NSW - 3 Dec 2018 by MatthewHiggins Psilogramma casuarinae (Privet Hawk Moth) at Bega, NSW - 1 Dec 2018 by MatthewHiggins Ptilonorhynchus violaceus (Satin Bowerbird) at Bega, NSW - 30 Nov 2018 by MatthewHiggins
Eudynamys orientalis (Eastern Koel) at Bega, NSW - 2 Nov 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Myzomela sanguinolenta (Scarlet Honeyeater) at Bega, NSW - 21 Oct 2020 by Steph H
Threskiornis spinicollis (Straw-necked Ibis) at Bega, NSW - 20 Oct 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Falco cenchroides (Nankeen Kestrel) at Bega, NSW - 4 Oct 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Columba leucomela (White-headed Pigeon) at Bega, NSW - 18 Sep 2020 by Steph H
Strepera graculina (Pied Currawong) at Bega, NSW - 8 Aug 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Zosterops lateralis (Silvereye) at Bega, NSW - 21 Jul 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Opisthoncus nigrofemoratus (Black-thighed jumper) at Bega, NSW - 16 Jul 2020 by Steph H
Calyptorhynchus funereus (Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo) at Bega, NSW - 15 Jul 2020 by Steph H
Cracticus torquatus (Grey Butcherbird) at Bega, NSW - 13 Jul 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Elanus axillaris (Black-shouldered Kite) at Bega, NSW - 10 Jul 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Tiliqua scincoides scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) at Bega, NSW - 20 May 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Orthodera ministralis (Green Mantid) at Bega, NSW - 11 May 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Haliastur sphenurus (Whistling Kite) at Bega, NSW - 6 May 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Litoria peronii (Peron's Tree Frog, Emerald Spotted Tree Frog) at Bega, NSW - 5 May 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Tiliqua scincoides scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) at Bega, NSW - 5 May 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Pseudomantis albofimbriata (False garden mantis) at Bega, NSW - 3 May 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Tiliqua scincoides scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) at Bega, NSW - 14 Apr 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Columba leucomela (White-headed Pigeon) at Bega, NSW - 9 Apr 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Pseudechis porphyriacus (Red-bellied Black Snake) at Bega, NSW - 7 Mar 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Ninox boobook (Southern Boobook) at Bega, NSW - 2 Mar 2020 by MatthewHiggins
Tiliqua scincoides scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) at Bega, NSW - 3 Dec 2019 by MatthewHiggins
Philemon corniculatus (Noisy Friarbird) at Bega, NSW - 26 Sep 2019 by MatthewHiggins
Haliaeetus leucogaster (White-bellied Sea-Eagle) at Bega, NSW - 15 Aug 2019 by MatthewHiggins
Haliastur sphenurus (Whistling Kite) at Bega, NSW - 1 Jul 2019 by MatthewHiggins
Trichonephila edulis (Golden orb weaver) at Bega, NSW - 1 Apr 2019 by MatthewHiggins
Cacatua sanguinea (Little Corella) at Bega, NSW - 31 Jan 2019 by MatthewHiggins
Tiliqua scincoides scincoides (Eastern Blue-tongue) at Bega, NSW - 31 Dec 2018 by MatthewHiggins
Falco cenchroides (Nankeen Kestrel) at Bega, NSW - 3 Dec 2018 by MatthewHiggins
Psilogramma casuarinae (Privet Hawk Moth) at Bega, NSW - 1 Dec 2018 by MatthewHiggins
Ptilonorhynchus violaceus (Satin Bowerbird) at Bega, NSW - 30 Nov 2018 by MatthewHiggins

Location information

Species information

  • Not Sensitive
  • Local Native
  • Non-Invasive

Sighting information

  • 1 Abundance
  • 24 Aug 2020 07:37 PM Recorded on
  • StephH Recorded by

Record quality

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  • More than one media file
  • Confirmed by an expert moderator
  • Nearby sighting(s) of same species
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  • Description
  • Additional attributes
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